Operation Santa: Adopt a family at Chicago's Old Main Post Office

CHICAGO (WLS) -- With jingle bells ringing, we know Christmas can't be far away. But the sound of a voice in need reminds us it's time for generosity, too.

"Dear Santa, my name is David and I'm 3 months old and I'd like toys and clothes for Christmas," read Beverly Minister from one letter.

"We may not have a Christmas dinner. The meds cost a lot," said another.

Beverly Minister reads letters like these every year.

"These are families that need things right now," she said.

Those Chicago families write to Santa, then the post office takes over. Janice Hall is chief elf at the Chicago branch and she's in charge of Operation Santa.

"We have tissue as we open the letters because they will make you cry," Hall said.

Her team sorts the letters, blotting out last names and addresses. Then they're displayed for all to see.

"Choose a letter, you go out and you buy the gift and we mail it for you," Hall said.

There are thousands of letters here from children and adults, small families and large ones. They're all asking for the same thing: a brighter Christmas.

"We get from X-Boxes to just warm pajamas," Hall said. "Then she lists the children and she lists their sizes, etc."

You can stop by Chicago's Old Main Post Office Monday through Saturday 7:30 a.m. To 7 p.m. and on Sundays from 10 a.m. To 5:30 p.m. to adopt a family.

Operation Santa runs until December 21, so there's still time to provide a hot meal or a new winter coat to those in need.
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